Call for Papers: Digital Heritage Storytelling: Luxury Brands, Visual Cultures, Technologies (edited collection)

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Amanda Sikarskie / University of Michigan
contact email: 

Soliciting essays for an edited collection on digital heritage storytelling for luxury fashion:

The editor of the project, Dr. Amanda Sikarskie, University of Michigan, has been in conversation with Heidi Lowther, Routledge Editor for Museum & Heritage Studies, Conservation, Library & Info Science, and Digital Humanities, and Routledge is keen to see a full proposal of the collection. The project might have a home in Routledge’s Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities series, or might be a stand-alone title.


About the project

In the luxury sector at present, heritage is everything. Fast fashion, economic uncertainties, the decluttering movement, and ethical questions about traditionally luxe materials, such as fur, all threaten the economic viability of the luxury sector. What luxury brands have that fast fashion and middle-class department store brands lack—other than a high price tag—is a rich history. These histories are often intertwined with the social and national histories of entire countries, as well as the microhistories of individual families. Telling consumers that story is essential in creating an affective connection that makes the luxury price tag seem worthwhile. In a digital age, packaging and marketing such historical narratives means communicating heritage through social tools such as YouTube videos and Instagram posts and stories, as well as more traditional blogs and websites. Digital Heritage Storytelling for Luxury Brands will be an edited collection that brings together many different case studies representing not only various brands, but also various academic disciplines. Rooted in both fashion studies and the digital humanities, this will be a truly interdisciplinary (and international) anthology for students and academics, digital humanities practitioners, and industry professionals alike.


To round out the book, 6,000 word essays fitting one or more of the following sections / topics are invited:


Part One: Luxury Brands

Essays by scholars each exploring how a single brand approaches heritage storytelling. Essays featuring both older, more established brands and newer brands are welcome.

Examples of brands include: Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Gucci [already taken], Halston Heritage, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Jamie Okuma, Prada, Rolex, Sonia Rykiel, Saint Laurent, Kate Spade, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace, Vivienne Westood, and Bethany Yellowtail.


Part Two: Visual Cultures

Essays that explore how brands use the visual culture of their own nation’s past or appropriate the visual culture of other past civilizations in their digital heritage storytelling, especially as settings and props. Examples include: the Byzantine look in jewellery brand storytelling, Victorian Britain, Tokugawa Japan, Rococo France and fragrance brand storytelling, Ancient Egypt, etc. Essays could also explore how a traditional or historical form, pattern, or material—such as corsetry, quilting and patchwork, or porcupine quillwork—are used in heritage storytelling.


Part Three: Technologies

Essays that explore how various brands utilize a particular technology in digital heritage storytelling. This could be something as simple as YouTube videos or Instagram stories, or something as complex as the use of augmented reality in digital heritage storytelling.


For this project, Routledge is particularly interested in seeing proposals for essays by scholars from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


250 word abstracts are due to Amanda Sikarskie by May 1, 2019, with 6,000 word draft essays for selected authors due by December 31, 2019. To submit an abstract, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact Amanda Sikarskie at


Regarding illustrations: Please note that authors will be able to use up to three black & white images in their essay, and are responsible for securing permission for the image(s) as well as paying any applicable fees.